Kayode Fayemi, minister of mines and steel development, says his ministry is yet to hire anyone over for the concession of Ajaokuta Steel Plant.
On Thursday, the lower legislative chamber asked President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the concession of the plant.
The house also moved to amend the privatisation act by removing the steel plant from the list of public assets which the federal government has powers to privatise.
The lawmakers alleged that the ministry had already contracted PricewaterhouseCoopers.
But in a statement, Olayinka Oyebode, media aide to the minister, quoted Fayemi as saying the process for the appointment of a transaction adviser is on but would not be completed until it gets the approval of the federal executive council (FEC).
The minister said it is worrisome that the house could devote an entire day to an issue that “has not even arisen”.
“The ministry of mines and steel development has not contracted any transaction adviser for the concession of Ajaokuta steel company, as wrongly asserted by the house,” the statement read.
“The process for the appointment of a transaction adviser is on, but cannot be completed until it gets the approval of the federal executive council (FEC).
“The ministry has not spent a dime from the N2,096,500.00 appropriated by the house for the concession of Ajaokuta steel company (in the 2017 appropriation law). The mediation process that led to the amicable settlement of the legal encumbrances on Ajaokuta Steel Complex has not ended.
“There are still a few more steps to be taken as outlined in the terms of (out of court) settlement. And the ministry is following up on this. It is also important to state that no one has been hired. The ministry remains committed to making Ajaokuta steel plant function effectively, convinced that steel remains the most important engineering material and backbone of industrialisation in any economy.”
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